Thursday, August 2, 2012

School is starting! It is time for me to start learning!

This year I will be teaching Algebra 3 with Trigonometry and Virtual Pre-Calculus.  Both of which will include the use of computers.  It is both exciting and scary.  I have never had my students use computers in my classes more than about 5 days per year.  This year, it will be a daily experience.

For Virtual Pre-Calculus, the students will not be required to attend class every day.  They will be required to attend class once a week for guidance.  I will be available to assist students daily.  There will be occasional lecture days to assist students to make sure they are paying attention to the details.  All tests will be completed in class and are password protected.

In Algebra 3 with Trigonometry, we are piloting the use of My Math Lab where the students will complete most homework online.  The students are required to attend class daily.  Every other day, the students will learn new information and complete short practice problems in class.  On opposite days the class will meet in the computer lab to work on their assignments.  The students will be able to complete their assignments online at any location, anytime of day.  All tests will be completed pencil/paper.  This program will be piloted because of the fact that many colleges/universities in our region use My Math Lab for college mathematics.  If the students are able to start their college mathematics with a very clear understanding of the program, we believe they will have more success.

It will take a lot of time for me to get used to the lack of ability to see students' work on a daily basis.  They computer will grade most of their work.  It will give me more time to focus on my students' questions and grade written responses to writing prompts.  I believe I will enjoy the idea of not having to grade papers on a daily basis!

More to come...

3 comments:

  1. I am curious about your Math Lab. Are you using your own material or an online system. Would love to know more!!!

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  2. My Math Lab is a program online that corresponds with many textbooks. Most of the colleges and universities in my area use it for at least their College Algebra courses. The other Algebra 3 teacher and I will take turns with lecture/teaching/activity days and computer lab days. We will teach info one day then the next day the students will be on the computer completing their homework. In My Math Lab, I can assign the problems I want my students to complete. The students can work problems until their answers are correct. If they try the problem 3 times and are unsuccessful the program give them a new similar problem to complete. At the click of a button, the student can see the online textbook (we will not have to purchase textbooks), a video lecture (not created by me) about the information covered and/or a completely worked out solution. We are piloting this program in Algebra 3 because about half of our first semester students take Online College Algebra through a local community college in the spring, using My Math Lab. In the past, the students get the My Math Lab program figured out about around the 2nd test, this pilot will enable them to understand the program their first day in College Algebra.

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